Pharma & drug development

Special delivery: the logistics of curing Covid-19

Covid-19 has already thrown up some major challenges for the pharma sector, not least in logistics. But how can these issues be overcome, and what needs to be done to ensure sufficient distribution of new vaccines and therapies when they finally hit the market? Abi Millar reports.

When it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic, a vaccine remains the holy grail. Once a vaccine is released, the most vulnerable in society can be protected and some form of population immunity can be reached, without the need for mass infection or damaging lockdowns. 

At the time of writing, more than 170 candidate vaccines are in development, 11 of which are in phase III. With positive trial data from Pfizer and interim results on the efficacy of other candidates expected soon, plus news that the US Food and Drug Administration plans to lower its requirements for authorisation, it is conceivable that we could have a vaccine approved by Christmas. This would be the news that so many of us are desperate to hear. 

That said, the approval of a vaccine won’t automatically spell an end to the pandemic. Exciting though it will be, the authorisation won’t make much difference unless the vaccine can be rolled out on a mass scale. Here is where a different set of challenges come in; specifically, the enormous logistics challenges associated with delivering a medical product to billions of people.

Read the rest of this article in the December edition of Pharma Technology Focus

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